The mini grasshoppers that outlived dinosaurs: the fascinating world of Tetrigidae

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  • September 8, 2021
  • Have you ever seen a one-centimetre-long jumping critter in a leaflitter or close to a pond or a stream and thought that it is some juvenile insect? What you saw was probably an adult pygmy grasshopper, member of the family Tetrigidae. There are more than 2000 described species of those minute jumping insects, and this peculiar family has been around for more than 230 million years, meaninng that pygmies said both ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ to dinosaurs. And yet, we know more about dinosaurs than we do about pygmy grasshoppers.

    On the amazing discovery of a new species and how to choose names for spiders

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  • August 13, 2021
  • Guest blog post by Alireza Zamani As someone who enjoys taking regular long walks, listening to podcasts has always been an irreplaceable source of pleasure for me. As an arachnologist and taxonomist, I had been hoping for years that someone would start a podcast dedicated to taxonomy and the discovery of new species. Thankfully, earlier […]

    The first Red List of Taxonomists in Europe is calling for the support of insect specialists

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  • July 27, 2021
  • The Red List of Taxonomists portal, where taxonomy experts in the field of entomology can register to help map and assess expertise across Europe, in order to provide action points necessary to overcome the risks, preserve and support this important scientific community, will remain open until 30th September 2021. About 1,000 insect taxonomists – both […]

    Trapdoor spiders named after Neil Gaiman, Peter Gabriel and Brandi Carlile among 33 new to science species

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  • July 7, 2021
  • New species named after famous novelist Neil Gaiman, musician and human rights activist Peter Gabriel and singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile are among thirty-three new trapdoor spiders described from across North and South America. Following the discovery, published in the openly accessible, peer-reviewed scholarly journal ZooKeys, the known species in the genus Ummidia increased more than twice.

    Beetles, biodiversity and ‘Battlestar Galactica’

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  • June 25, 2021
  • Michigan State entomologists have discovered dozens of new beetle species — and named some after iconic sci-fi heroines The original Star Trek television series took place in a future when space is the final frontier, but humanity hasn’t reached that point quite yet. As researchers like Michigan State University entomologists Sarah Smith and Anthony Cognato […]

    New ant species named in recognition of gender diversity

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  • May 5, 2021
  • A newly discovered miniature trap jaw ant from the evergreen tropical forests of Ecuador bears the curious Latin name Strumigenys ayersthey, among hundreds, which are also named in honour of people, but end with -ae (after females) and –i (after males). This makes the newly described ant perhaps the only species in the world to […]

    New deadly snake from Asia named after character from Chinese myth ‘Legend of White Snake’

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  • April 6, 2021
  • In 2001, the famous herpetologist Joseph B. Slowinski died from snakebite by an immature black-and-white banded krait, while leading an expedition team in northern Myanmar. The very krait that caused his death is now confirmed to belong to the same species identified as a new to science venomous snake, following an examination of samples collected […]

    Celebrating Taxonomist Day with Elvis Worms and Sneaky Pipefish

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  • March 19, 2021
  • Happy Taxonomist Appreciation Day! On this day dedicated to the scientists who name, define and classify all living things, the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) also honors discoveries in marine biology by posting a “Top 10” of the marine species discovered throughout the year. The year 2020 saw fascinating discoveries in the world of […]

    Two species and a single name: ‘Double identity’ revealed in a venomous banana spider

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  • March 9, 2021
  • Spiders from the genus Phoneutria – also known as banana spiders – are considered aggressive and among the most venomous spiders in the world, with venom that has a neurotoxic action. These large nocturnal spiders usually inhabit environments disturbed by humans and are often found in banana plantations in the Neotropical region.  One of these […]